Question: "Does God love everyone or just Christians?"
Answer: There is a sense in which God loves everyone in the whole world (John 3:16; 1 John 2:2; Romans 5:8). This love in not conditional Ė it is based only on the fact that God is a God of love (1 John 4:8,16). Godís love for all of mankind results in the fact that God shows His mercy by not immediately punishing people for their sins (Romans 3:23; 6:23). If God did not love everyone, we would all be in hell right now. Godís love for the world is manifested in the fact that He gives people the opportunity to repent (2 Peter 3:9). However, Godís love for the world does not mean that He will ignore sin. God is also a God of justice (2 Thessalonians 1:6). Sin cannot go unpunished forever (Romans 3:25-26).
The most loving act of eternity is described in Romans 5:8, ďBut God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.Ē Anyone who ignores Godís love, who rejects Christ as Savior, who denies the Savior who bought him (2 Peter 2:1) Ė that person will be subject to Godís wrath for eternity (Romans 1:18), not His love (Romans 6:23). God loves everyone unconditionally in that He shows mercy to everyone. God conditionally loves only those who place their faith in His Son for salvation (John 3:36). Only those who believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior will experience Godís love for eternity.
Does God love everyone? Yes. Does God love Christians more than He loves non-Christians? No. Does God love Christians differently than He loves non-Christians? Yes. God loves everyone equally in that He is merciful to all. God only loves Christians in that Christians have His eternal grace and mercy Ė the promise of His forever love in Heaven. It is Godís love for all that should draw us all to receive His eternal love.